Another one of my “Making of” posts. I’m procrastinating, I admit it. I’m waiting for the cover art to come beck from Lindsey Batdorf. Once that arrives, I’ll turn this whole story into an e-book, and put that up here for the e-reader crowd. Knowing her work (Such as the cover illustration for my WoWfic “Thunderpetal”), it is well worth waiting for.
Now Steampunk is famous for its Victorian stylings, where “Victorian” means corset-clad ladies wearing tiny hats or “Fascinators”, gentlemen in Tweed, all adorned with cogwheels. Which is all good and proper, but an energetic young woman such as Alexandra Tennant whould be able to run maybe fifty yards in a corset before collapsing in a breathless heap. Which is simply not to be considered, so I have fitted her out with an all-environment suit and a sniper rifle. Mauser was a genuine German arms manufacturer, and their sniper rifles were really designated SR. I made up a type number, nicknamed it “Fräulein”, pronounced roughly “Froy-line” meaning “Young lady” in German. Now according to Mr. Chekov, onmce you mention a gun in a story, you must fire it. And she will.
Another indispensable piece of equipment introduced here is the Beast of Algernon. I’ve described it to friends as a tank, but it is more properly called an Armoured Personnel Carrier, because it has no guns. Now Charles Algernon Parsons, the founder of Algernon University, was pretty much the father of the steam turbine. So the Beast has two turbines, and is vaguely based on the M113 APC.
This chapter is also the first to mention the Gazette. What Gazette, I hear you ask? Well, the Gazette of course. Do I really need to mention the most popular daily broadsheet? Honestly.